The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 lists certain breeds of dogs, namely:
The Pit Bull Terrier
The Japanese Tosa
The Dogo Argentino
The Fila Brasiliero
It is illegal to own any of these dogs without specific exemption from a court.
However, any dog may be considered to be dangerous under the above Act. An offence is committed by the owner of the dog and by any other person in charge of it at the time, if the dog is allowed to be 'dangerously out of control'. A more serious offence will be committed if the dog while so out of control injures a person.
What should I do if I am concerned about a dangerous dog?
If you are concerned about a dangerous dog you should contact Northumbria Police on 999 (if it is an emergency) or on 101 (if you are not in immediate danger) and ask that the matter be reported to the Dog Legislation Officer.
If threatened by a dog:
Do not scream
Avoid eye contact, but don't lose sight of the dog. Try to remain motionless
Keep your hands reasonably high. Moving hands tend to be the first to be bitten
Use any object in your hand, like a shopping bag, to block the approach of a dog. If you are a cyclist, dismount and position your bicycle between you and the dog
If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and play dead